The NSW 21/U Team were valiant under pressure but couldn’t catch a strong Victorian side, going down to their traditional rivals, 37-36, in their second outing at the 2014 National Netball Championships in Adelaide.
NSW were able to get out to a good start, putting together a run of goals to open up an early 4-1 lead. However VIC settled and halfway through the first quarter took the lead. With a mobile shooting circle, the Victorians quickly pushed out to a four goal lead but some great defensive teamwork from circle defenders Kristiana Manu’a and Karli Ireland, aided by Maddie Hay at WD, saw NSW pull back the deficit to go into the first break three goals down, 11-8.
Much like the first, little could separate the two sides for the start of the second quarter. NSW Swifts debutant Hay worked overtime for NSW 21/U side, getting a touch to plenty Victorian ball to turnover possession. VIC’s defensive were relentless in applying the pressure to NSW’s shooting circle, particularly GK Emily Mannix on tall target Kristina Brice at GS.
The intensity lifted as the clock ticked down and luck began to fall NSW way. Through hard work NSW moved the ball safely down to their shooters with Brice levelling the score late in the quarter. Despite their good fortunes, VIC were able to put on a mini run to take a three goal lead into half-time, 20-17.
Head Coach Megan Simpson stuck with her starting seven for the second half while their opposition made three changes to their front end. NSW worked hard, led by midcourter Taylah Davies whose determination lifted her teammates, and soon saw them within one goal. The two traditional rivals continued their arm wrestle with VIC maintaining their one goal buffer at the final break, 27-26.
Treasuring possession became paramount in the final quarter with every goal critical to staying in touch. NSW were able to hit the lead early with a run of goals but VIC wouldn’t let them get ascendency. The two sides traded goals with both NSW and VIC putting immense pressure on the pass to force the turnover.
Key moment in the final quarter came when NSW captain Amy Sommerville was replaced by speedy GA Lauren Cantwell with just over two minutes to go. Down by two goals, NSW threw everything at the contest. Despite a late goal to GS Brice in the dying seconds, Victoria were able to hold out to winning a thrilling match by one goal.
Watch the full NetballNSWTV interview with Megan Simpson plus game highlights below:
NSW are back on court later today at 6pm AEDST to take on our northern border rivals Queensland in Round 3. Stay up-to-date with NSW’s progress at the 2014 21/U National Netball Championships by following us on Social Media:
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NSW│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 17 (9) – Q3: 26 (9) – Q4: 36 (10)
VIC│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 20 (9) – Q3: 27 (7) – Q4: 37 (10)
NSW: 36/49 @ 73%
Kristina Brice: 27/36 @ 75%
Amy Sommerville: 8/11 @ 72%
Lauren Cantwell: 1/2 @ 50%
VIC: 37/54 @ 69%
Ramayer Gourley: 11/14 @ 79%
Alice Teague-Neeld: 18/26 @ 69%
Madeline Morrison: 8/14 @ 57%
Teams Starting Positions
NSW│ GS Kristina Brice, GA Amy Sommerville (c), WA Tiesha Ojeda, C Taylah Davies, WD Maddie Hay, GD Kristiana Manu’a, GK Karli Ireland
VIC│ GS Ramayer Gourley, GA Alice Teague-Neeld, WA Maddie Hickey, C Maggie Lind, WD Melissa Bragg, GD Chloe Watson (c), GK Emily Mannix
NSW│ Q4 Timeout – GA Lauren Cantwell.
VIC│ Q3 – GS Madeline Morrison, WA Maggie Lind, C Elaine Osei-Safo.